Cat Munzing '05: A Scranton Connection Inspires the Makin...

    Cat Munzing's first attempt at sewing a mask. She subsequently made and donated more than 1,000 as of April 9.
    April 9, 2020
    "So many people feel helpless in this situation, but Cat took the opportunity to take a bad situation and do something for others."- Karen Hoerst '05

    It all started when her freshman year floormate asked her for sewing advice to make masks. That gave Cat Munzing '05, from Oceanside, New York, an idea. She had just quit her full-time job as a customer relations manager for a jewelry store to focus on her business, making custom children's dresses, baby clothes and repurposing old wedding dresses into such garments as christening and communion gowns.

    "I actually contacted Cat to ask her for advice on a sewing machine so that I could make some masks [for my family] since I’ve known since Martin Hall, freshman year, that she was a pro at sewing," said classmate Karen Hoerst '05, a neurologist who is now home with her young children. 

    Hoerst "planted the seed," Munzing said, and she quickly pivoted the focus of her regular business to sewing masks for health care professionals. The first masks were donated to NYU Winthrop on Long Island, where her sister is a surgical technologist, and eventually throughout the Northeast and across the country to California and Arizona. As of April 9, she has made and shipped more than 1,000 masks.

    munzing.jpg"My customers typically come to me for alterations, custom dresses, things that are wants rather than needs," she said. "So, while it's disheartening that our health care providers don't have what they need during this time, it's nice to be able to help."

    Munzing is also heartened by the generosity of others. A few people from her community are helping her with the cutting and sewing and "the donations are pouring in," she said. "Supplies, money, their own time, it's been incredible."

    And, take it from Hoerst, Munzing's hard work is appreciated. 

    "So many people right now feel helpless in this situation, but Cat took the opportunity to take a bad situation and do something for others, many of whom she doesn’t even know personally," said Hoerst. "As someone who is a doctor (even though I’m not currently working) I know how much it means to the doctors, nurses, and all other hospital staff to know people are in their corner."

    Pictured above: Cat Munzing '05

    • alt placeholderA pile of packages of Munzing's masks to be distributed to health care professionals across the country.
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